Nokia N91 vs. Apple iPod

“Nokia AB, the world’s foremost mobile phone maker has introduced the most superior mixture of wireless phone and MP3 player devices (Nokia N91) that participates against Apple Computer’s iPod,” Karandeep Singh Dhillon writes for

“Its 4GB internal hard drive that easily holds 3,000 songs is the unique feature of Nokia91. Previously electronic goods giant Samsung, introduced a 2GB internal hard drive phone that only exists in Korea. Nokia’s N91 doubles its capacity and available globally,” Dhillon writes.

MacDailyNews Take: It must be really unique, because 4GB at a decent bit rate will actually hold about 1,000 songs.

Dhillon writes, “There is also an increase of about 3.5-millileter in the headphone jack that makes it more friendly with a wide array of high-end audio headsets. Its incorporated Wi-Fi connection allows users to wirelessly haul and drop music files from a PC. The N91 also boasts an audio output port for hooking up external speakers or stereo systems. It has a sleek, futuristic look, with music control buttons… The U.S. retail price depends on how carriers make it available to subscribers, but the European price reportedly reaches about 700 euros ($900).”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Would you rather have a 4GB iPod mini and a cellphone to carry around or a 4GB iPod mini that also offered a built-in cellphone? Yes, the Nokia N91 is too expensive. Yes, it doesn’t really hold 3,000 songs unless you like your songs to sound a bit worse than AM radio quality. Yes, this model isn’t the exact cellphone/music player model that will hurt Apple’s iPod, but it is the first to offer something that Apple does not: it makes phone calls and it eliminates the need to carry two devices where one would suffice. If the Nokia N91 used a Click Wheel (Apple patent pending), worked with AAC/FairPlay (iTunes Music Store), offered software/user interface designed in Cupertino, and was priced like an iPod mini (even if that meant signing up for a year plan with a carrier), we’d get it instead of an iPod any day of the week. Apple are you listening?

Note: Nokia to use Microsoft’s music formats on its handsets.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Will cellphones eat Apple’s iPod or vice versa? – May 09, 2005
Bona fide Apple iPod killer? Nokia’s 4GB mobile ‘jukebox’ phone due by Christmas – April 28, 2005
Can mobile phones and telecoms kill Apple’s golden iPod+iTunes combo? – April 26, 2005
Motorola CEO Zander: Apple iTunes phone due ‘in the next few months’ – April 20, 2005
RUMOR: Apple’s iTunes Mobile 1.0 to be ready by June – April 20, 2005
Verizon, Sprint, other wireless companies balk at carrying Apple’s and Motorola’s ‘iPod phone’ – April 19, 2005
Motorola to unveil iRadio – PC to Mobile to Car Stereo service – April 18, 2005
Will Motorola’s Apple iTunes phone make it to market? – March 28, 2005
BusinessWeek: What’s going on with the Motorola Apple iTunes mobile phone? – March 24, 2005
So who’s really delaying the Motorola iTunes phone anyway? – March 21, 2005
Motorola exec: Apple iTunes phone debut delayed by Steve Jobs; phones will launch in 2005 – March 16, 2005
Motorola’s Apple iTunes phone in trouble? – March 14, 2005
Motorola says iTunes phone unveiling delay not caused by dispute with carriers – March 10, 2005
Motorola says it’s working on more iTunes phones, some models ‘can store eight hours of music’ – March 10, 2005
Motorola indefinitely postpones Apple iTunes phone unveiling – March 10, 2005
Motorola’s ‘ROKR’ Apple iTunes mobile phone to be unveiled this Thursday – March 06, 2005
Motorola’s yet-to-be-unveiled ‘ROKR’ phone will be first Apple iTunes phone – February 16, 2005
Nokia to use Microsoft’s music formats on its handsets – February 15, 2005
Motorola E1060 not, repeat not, the iTunes phone – February 16, 2005
Motorola executive previews iTunes Phone at CES, syncs to iTunes like an Apple iPod – January 06, 2005
Apple’ prodigious hardware and software design skills may help Motorola create iPod phone – December 28, 2004
Apple, Motorola iTunes on cell phones a harmonious deal that benefits both companies – August 05, 2004
Motorola posts Steve Jobs’ Apple iTunes announcement video – July 28, 2004
Apple, Motorola iTunes deal not exclusive, debuts Apple’s licensing of FairPlay DRM – July 27, 2004
Motorola and Apple to bring iTunes Music Player to Motorola’s next-gen mobile phones – July 26, 2004


  1. I’m sorry. I don’t see how a cell phone can compete with an mp3 player…ANY cell phone and any MP3 player. I don’t like 2-in-1 devices. I want my device to do what it was intended to do. ANY device. my mp3 player should play mp3s and my cell phone should make calls. Otherwise you get a half-assed mp3 player and a half-assed cell phone all in one. sure it does both but neither one as well as a dedicated device.

    I’ll stick to my kick ass samsung phone and my kick ass iPod and leave it at that.

  2. Something tells me that this kind of technology is cookin g in Cupertino as well. I thought all the carriers weren’t too happy about transfering large files over their networks, so is this Nokia’s answer?

  3. Know why this can never work? One reason and one reason only: airplanes. You have to turn off mobile phones during flights, which is prime iPod-listening time.

  4. Working for a carrier in a national mgmt role I can comment that we don’t have any specific issues with transferring of larger amounts of data on our network (hey, their is a cost, but the customers pay this), but there is an issue when Apple wants their solution and only their solutions to be implemented.

    The likelyhood that Apple’s defined product solution will be implemented on any carriers platform is almost nil. Fact is, carriers dwarf Apple in size and amount of subscribers, both nationally and globally.

    Now if the Jobs would just CONSULT with the prospective carriers he might get a deal that would benefit both. But, without this, the itunes cellphone product will languish, not even on the shelves, but in Apple’s warehouse.

    Carriers WILL NOT pick up a product and distribute it and SUBSIDIZE it without it meeting their defined goals and business models as well.

    Apple is facing a partner or group of businesses that DWARF the music industry, the Telecom industry..


  5. MDN: you keep insinuating that this is the ‘Way the iPod needs to go,” and quite frankly i’m a bit surprised by your short sightedness.

    Reasons Apple will not make your proposed two in one device:

    1. Battery life. It ain’t gonna happen.
    2. Click wheel. How you gonna get one of those on a cell phone and still have the standard keypad to dial… Not!
    3. Simplicity: It’s simply not simple enough for Apple. Combining a phone into the iPod would clutter the interface and take away from the original intent of the iPod. Entertainment Apple style!

    I believe we will soon see Wi-Fi and Video incorporated into the iPod, but the phone thing… No. The iPod is for Music and will soon be Music/video. It’s an entertainment device. That’s it.. Sorry to dissapoint..

  6. Mailingerer,

    You are wrong.. Okay here’s the cat out of the bag..

    T-Mobile will be carrying the iTunes phone in June! Don’t ask me how I know, but I do. Shh. it’s confidential..

  7. Anonymous?

    I don’t think soo.. don’t ask me how I know.. I just happen to manage.. @.. T-… well.. don’t ask..

    Certain companies don’t bend over when Steve asks.. most of these companies are in the global telco game.

  8. Dealing with the telco reminds me of an old Goon Show sketch.

    “So you want to join us? First you must take the oath. Open your wallet and say after me: Help Yourself.”

  9. So is Nokia’s N91 going to work with the cell phone’s own stores? I assume the cell phone stores are going to use WMA.

    In any case, the Nokia phone at $900 is too expensive. Even with subsidy and maybe a 2-year contract, I don’t see it being offered for less than $400. (The article itself can’t see it going for less than $500.) The 4GB iPod mini is $199.

    And I thought the phone, although announced, doesn’t actually arrive until fall this year. By then, the 4GB mini might be $149.

    And the iTunes phone will also be out by then since enough money transferred from one to another (or euphemistically called revenue sharing) will smooth over any philosophical problems.

  10. Jeff Harrell…

    I’d assume they’d make an option where you can turn the phone bit off, airplanes/theatres etc… and still use the mp3 player bit. But then again you may as well get a phone and an ipod and glue them together back to back.

  11. Malingerer,

    I too work at t-….., but in the corporate division.. Trust me, after much negotiation we ARE going to be carrying the iTunes phone. Retail divisions have not been notified as of yet and that is most likely why you are unaware of this (assuming you work at retail?)

    Here’s an obvious clue:

    Read any recent article written about the iTunes phone (there are plenty here on MDN,) and you will notice that they all state that carriers such as Verizon, Cingular, and Sprint have all passed on the iTunes phone, but they do not mention T-Mobile… Why, because we have been in negotiation for the past six months and have finally agreed to subsidize the phone? Yep, it’s ours.

  12. Don’t let yourself be limited to the short-term. Memory will get smaller. Batteries will last longer. Bluetooth modules will shrink (or be replaced by something else). The nature of the beast will change as technology solves current issues. What your computer does (cheaply) now was unthinkable in the days of 8-tracks, 15 pound video cameras, room-sized computers, etc.

    I believe that size, battery life, bandwidth and cost are the only things standing in the way of devices that do cellphone and music duty (as these are the two most-desired functions in today’s world). Add Bluetooth for car and computer interfacing, solve the security and bandwidth issues, and you have a killer device. They are all going there – I hope Apple gets there first and best.

    One more thing – lets say it does FM radio duty, you hear a song you like, push a button, and it purchases and downloads to the phone (or logs it to your iTunes account to download to your computer later). Nothing would sell music like impulse buying.

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